the network for radical unschooling families
My 7yr. daughter had never been to school. She didn't have any first hand knowledge of school culture. She had been expressing an interest in school and I was getting the impression that she was going to ask me about going to school but she did not ask that. Two of her good friends had returned to school and they would walk to our house to play everyday after school because I babysat them for 1-2 hours each afternoon. She missed playing with them all day like she did when they were on school break.
She convinced her friends to build the outline of their school, well part of their school, with blocks on our large backroom table. They added people figures to the school rooms. They used scraps of paper to make tiny books, worksheets, bathroom passes, award certificates, report cards. They made up stories and made things as they went. I went about my business and would listen in occasionally. My daughter asked a lot of questions about school and questioned the things they did. What does the principal do? What if her person doesn't understand the homework? Well I saw some of the homework papers they made and some the homework they passed out was just scribble writing and some had math problems which she could answer. What did the school serve for lunch? They left this "game" on the table and no one touched it except for when her friends came over after school each day. They played this just about every day for over a month.
This was her clever way of figuring out school. It gave her the chance to really think of and ask her questions. My daughter has also walked through her cousins school for an event before and we've seen schools in movies and books. But her school "game" was very important to her. Her curiosity about school is satisfied for now and she says she is happy to stay home. I just love remembering this story and wanted to share.